Apr 30, 2016

Another Comcast Day of Service

A couple of months ago, Bossy asked me if we would like to help with the Comcast Day of Service at her neighborhood school. We had so much fun helping with the one at Bingham last year, that I finally agreed to sign up. It's amazing what my kids will do for a donut and a free t-shirt!

We started in the cafeteria at 7:30, eating donuts with milk and all donning our green Comcast t-shirts. Bossy and her family showed up a few minutes later. We managed to get the bunch of us assigned to two different teams, the guys outside planing trees, and the girls in the library.

It was easy work; we were assigned to pull all the videos off the shelves, wipe everything down and then replace it in the same order. The work was fun and went quickly. Baby Doll and Chips were excited at first to be included, but got bored after a while.

When we were finished in the library, we moved back to the cafeteria and helped wash down all the folding chairs from the racks. Then we decided to join the boys outside with the tree-planting group. They were nearly finished with their task, but we found a bunch of dandelions that needed to be uprooted from the field. By the time we had dug them all up, stuffed them in our garbage back and replaced the divots, it was time to head back to the cafeteria for pizza and a farewell.

The kids were given several boxes of pizza to take home as well as a couple dozen donuts. It was nice to have lunch covered for everyone.

The kids finished their service project at my house, helping my sweetie dig all the weeks and tiny bits of grass out of the park strip. We are going to add wood chips to it and stop fighting with the grass and trying to get it to grow.

It would be nice if we could get the kids to work this hard every Saturday. Maybe I could bring home donuts and t-shirts for everyone...

The Amazing Mother's Day Purse Project

So I have an amazing friend named Heather and she sent out this letter from Instagram several months ago.

Every year for almost 20 years (Wow! Crazy that it has been that long.), my Mama, sisters and nieces have all gathered together on the Saturday before Mother's Day for a service project and luncheon (my Mama's beautiful and selfless idea, of course). Each year, we take turns planning what we will all be doing for the service project and where our luncheon will be. After what has seemed like a very long wait, it is finally my year again!!! Yay! Over the holidays, I had some pretty amazing experiences that all seemed to lead to the inspiration for the project I decided on for this year. I have personally been in the very humbling position of requiring assistance from others. It was so challenging to put my pride aside and accept help from others when I had always been the HELPER and not the HELPED. Every day since then, I have realized what a beautiful thing it was, for a period of time, to accept service from others. I have always loved serving others, but after experiencing first hand the true MIRACLES and tender mercies that came to our little family as a result of the angels who have served US through the years, I can't seem to get ENOUGH of service. I. Am. Hooked. This year, I felt strongly that I wanted our project to be "Women Serving Women." Not only did I want us to work to provide daily necessities for women in need, I wanted us to also provide the little extras that make us FEEL as beautiful on the outside as we are on the inside. When things are rough, those extras are unnecessary luxuries when babies need clothes and food isn't on the table. But they are also the "little things" that can remind us for a moment that we are strong, beautiful and capable of enduring the challenges we are currently facing. Trust me. I have been there.

My cute Girls (and nephew) buying makeup bags for the purse project.

This year, all of the Dahlquist women of all ages will be getting together on the Saturday before Mother's Day to put together purses for women in need. Necessities and little luxuries, all packaged in FABULOUS purses that will help these good women forget, for even the briefest moment, that life is so very challenging for them at the moment. I put together this SAMPLE PURSE to show what we will be collecting for each and every purse. Each purse will contain the following: 1. PURSE (NEW or VERY GENTLY USED CONDITION, Large enough for all items listed below...you know we all have 2 or 3 in our closets that we aren't using, right? ;-)) 2. HYGIENE KIT (Full-size Shampoo/Conditioner [can be both or 2 in 1], Brush, Deodorant, Toothbrush, Full-size Toothpaste, Bar of Soap, Razor, Lotion, Small Tissues, Small package Tampons/Pads [the small ones found in travel sections or at the Dollar Store]) - in a gallon size baggie 3. BASIC MAKEUP KIT (Neutral Eye Shadow, Blush, Mascara, Lip gloss, Nail Polish) - in a quart size baggie or inexpensive makeup bag (Dollar Store has great ones) 4. NECKLACE, BRACELETS OR EARRINGS - wrapped nicely in a little box or cellophane bag 5. $20-$25 GROCERY GIFT CARD to WALMART or SMITHS and 6. COMPLETELY OPTIONAL EXTRAS: anything we'd like to add in order to make it more personal (gum, small first-aid or sewing kit, wet wipes, bandaids, q-tips, tictacs, perfume, manicure set, etc.
This year, instead of keeping it within the family, I have reached out to the community and friends in a service group I belong to. I feel such conviction about the importance of this project and know that obviously the more hands we have, the more we can do. There is great need.

Our goal is to collect and fill 150-200 purses by the Saturday before Mother's Day. A lofty goal, perhaps. However, over Christmas, I witnessed firsthand how the Lord absolutely MAGNIFIES the efforts of those who wish to serve in ANY capacity. He will provide.
If you'd like to get involved.....whether you are able to donate a completely filled purse, an empty purse to be filled or ANY of the elements to go inside of the purses....please let me know. Anything we can do is a blessing.

Today my Girl Scouts got involved. We went shopping and purchased 23 makeup bags and 42 necklaces from our troop account for this awesome service project. Heather confided in me that with such an outpouring of love from the surrounding community, she has been able to assemble over 400 purses for the women's shelter. Thanks, Heather, for helping us to remember to take care of our fellow man... uh woman.

Apr 29, 2016

Guest Blog: Educational Blogs by the Dog Walker

As you may have saw my comment on the previous post, I was asked that I should write about Autism Awareness Month, but I didn't know that with a little bit of thinking I would just go and do it, but when I got there, Mom already finished it. I felt like I've either let her down or I took advantage of her. She told me that I did neither of those things. I was just tired, because of all the exaggeration with finishing the semester of college.

And speaking about the semester of college, I took some classes that required me to have a blog. I just felt like that I wanted to write to you about a few blogs that I made a long time ago and some that are made recently. Some are dealt with education and some are dealt with entertainment. If you would like, I have a list of them linked all on here. They might sound familiar already, but I just wanted to show you the blogs that I made and I'm hoping that throughout the rest of a life-time, I could be able to write a little more on each one.

There are some blogs that I've laid off and I just wish I went back to write a bit more on them, but I was just so darn busy with other things, like school, and I just got hired to working at Wal-Mart to earn money for a future. Ever since I got hired, my dad suggested to me that I should set up a financial goal to earn a new car, since the green Mercury cruiser is getting close to being shipped to a Salvage Yard. Okay, I'm totally going off subject here. I just wanted to show you the blogs that I made and I hope that they will show you about my perspective and what I've been learning.

The Art of Autism

Utah Boy Scouts

Kiylee's Christmas

You're the Special Child

LDS Lit. Reviews

Yule Love This Story

I'm hoping that you find all these blogs fun to look and explore at. I just need to adjust my time and start writing a little more on each of these blogs. Just so that I can get some of the followers back, especially KaHolly. She has been my top follower from The Art of Autism, and maybe with this post, she'll be back to being my online blog friend. As well as Marci too.

Apr 28, 2016

Autism Awareness Month

Did you know that April is Autism Awareness month?
A few days ago my sweetie came home from the store with a blue light. The packaging said it was for Autism Awareness and we were supposed to replace one of our garage lights with it.

The Dog Walker couldn't wait to get up on the ladder and add our blue bulb to the green one we put up several months ago because our dads were veterans.

Living with Autism all these years has been a challenge, but one that we have embraced as the Dog Walker has gotten older. Do we still have crazy moments when he loses it? Of course we do! Especially when he is under a lot of stress like he has been this week. It's finals week and as if that weren't enough, he started working at his new job last week. Either one of those things might have been enough to put him over the edge, but with both combined, it's almost inevitable.

Like today, for instance. He suddenly exploded about something that happened earlier in the week that made him unhappy. It was totally unprovoked and their were no reminders that I saw that would have prompted that sort of behavior.

Then it is time for calming him down and reminding him everything will work out. Sometimes I even start singing Primary Songs for him so he will calm down and live in the moment instead of the past. I will be so glad when school is finally out for him. He has one more assignment for his Autism class and a few small things for his math class besides the final exam. A week from now, we won't have to worry about school for him until September.

Apr 27, 2016

Our Missionaries

It's been a long time since anyone left me a message on my Ask Me tab, but yesterday an anonymous reader wondered if any of our children have served missions. I'm guessing this must be someone fairly new to my blog because we have done many posts on our missionaries, but I will give you a quick run down.

Teach was our first missionary. She was called to serve in the Texas Ft. Worth mission in the spring of 2013. She left right before Easter and returned in August of 2014. Her husband, Twiz, served in the same mission and although they were not good friends, they knew of each other. When they met up at a mission reunion last fall, that was all it took for the seed to blossom into a romance.

The Dog Walker was our second missionary. He has Autism as you know, and he was not allowed to serve a proselyting mission far from home. We were able to have him serve for 18 months as a Young Church Service missionary working in the Special Needs seminaries around the valley. He absolutely loved his mission and was very sad when it was finally over. He has asked more than once if he might be able to serve again.

Drama Queen was our 3rd missionary. She also decided to serve as a Young Church Service missionary for the Church's motion picture studios. Her mission started in June of 2015 and she will be finished sometime next month. She has been updating their database and she spent several months manning the front desk.

Our last (for the moment) missionary is Bossy. She accepted a call to serve in the Family Search group in January of 2016. Her service is scheduled for one year and she answers phone calls for a couple of hours a day assisting people with their family history work.

Apr 26, 2016

Meeting Mark and Caralyn Buehner

Last week a lady from the PTA called me and asked if I could help sit with Curly's class during the Teacher's Appreciation breakfast while they had an assembly. It didn't sound too bad, so I agreed. I didn't realize what I was getting into...

It was truly one of the most interesting assemblies I have ever sat in on. The speakers were Caralyn and Mark Buehner, author and illustrator of one of our favorite children's books, Snowmen at Night. They also did Fanny's Dream, another amazing story, as well as a couple dozen more.

I wasn't exactly fan-girling (that's one of Prima Donna's favorite terms), but I was certainly enjoying learning about their journey into the publishing world. I love reading aloud to my kids, and it was so fun to hear the way Caralyn read us her own stories.

But my favorite part was when Mark started drawing for us on the white board. He could do better in 10 seconds than I could do if I slaved all day. I love his paintings and he brought some originals in to show us. I don't know if the kids were as interested as I was in learning about this amazing husband and wife team, mostly because I was too busy paying attention to pay attention.

Apr 25, 2016

Guest Blog: Happy Birthday, Shakes! by Drama Queen

About four hundred and fifty years ago, a baby was born.  Not a big deal, right?  But this baby grew up into one of the world’s greatest writers, and I, Drama Queen, realized about a week ago that my dear younger siblings just did not have the love of the Bard that should, by rights, be intrinsic to all modern readers.  So!  What is the best way to get kids interested in anything dusty, musty, or crusty?  Associate it with sugar! 

And that is what we did. 

Saturday night the whole clan stormed Castle Dozen dressed to the nines in Shakespeare get-up.  We had Hamlet, Richard III, Two Romeos, Two Queen Catherines, Elizabeth I, Titania, a reluctant Oberon, Cleopatra, and a witch or two.  When they arrived, they were sorted into factions: Capulets and Montagues.  Papa, in his excellent purple bowtie, became our Prince of Verona and presided most elegantly over our ensuing competition.  Of course, the Great Hall was decorated with both skulls and fairy rings – Shakespeare is both adorable and creepy, after all! – and a scrumptious meat-pie was soon served to the clambering guests. 

Glutted most contently, the rivaling sides soon fell to a series of intriguing games.  They demonstrated skill and strategy in tossing coins for Cherry Pit.  Nerves and reflexes were tested in Stool Ball.  

An icy rain made Prison Bars a game that only the bravest ventured to wage.  The Prince carefully tallied points along the way and between games, young thespians regaled us with the lines they had memorized.  (Burrito’s Romeo was very reluctant to kiss his sleeping bride, but the tragic death itself was masterful indeed.) 

Young squires and ladies had great enjoyment playing Pin-the-Soap-on-Lady-Macbeth while a witch stealthily taught the teenagers how to play at dice.  We paraded our costumes and treasured prizes were then distributed by the fair Prince.  Top accolades went to Salsa for his Richard III, Prima Donna for her Elizabeth I, and Bossy’s bird-bedecked Titania. 

As the sky grew purple with dusk, Princess – our own Juliet – ensured that there were cool and refreshing Oreo Shakes to toast our departed Playwright.  The Capulets won the sweet victory.  And my favorite moment of them all occurred as my dear mother recited a sonnet to my father – their affection a true testament of the enduring nature of beauty and love. 

Weary, worn, but wealthy with joy, our family departed by twos and eights into the night, reminded of the importance of happiness, and grateful for the knowledge that  - just as William’s words have withstood the whipping winds of time – our family shall share the eternities hand in hand in hand..in hand…in hand....

Apr 24, 2016

Pet Day

Smile, Abigail!
On Friday, Scout and Curly had their last day of school for a couple of weeks because they are now on off track time. But Curly's teacher wanted to do something special with them before they went off. The kids decided it would be fun to have a Pet Party.

Unfortunately, we don't have any pets at this very moment and Curly was heartbroken. In fact, the day they announced the party happened to be a day when we had my friends dogs for an overnight visit. I've never seen Curly so disappointed when they returned home!

So then he thought of Abigail, Teach and Twiz's new puppy. I've put up some pics of her. She is a cute little Chiweenie, emphasis on the cute. We called Teach and she immediately agreed to have Twiz bring Abigail to the party.

The day came and Twiz and I showed up at the school a few minutes early. It was outside on the field and there were several dogs all safely tucked away on leashes. Abigail did a great job entertaining the kids with her cuteness and spunky personality.

Curly was like the proud papa, sharing info about her and letting the other kids hold her. Twiz did a great job too. Me? I just enjoyed the sunshine.

Apr 23, 2016

Jane Eyre at the Hale in Orem

Remember way back in February when Princess got engaged? Well, today was supposed to be her bridal shower, but when she realized she still had the day scheduled off and no plans, she decided we all needed a girls' night out.

So she looked around and discovered that the Hale Center Theater was doing a performance of Jane Eyre. She immediately bought 11 tickets and issued an invitation to all the girls in the family and one of her very best friends from our Girl Scout troop. Every one of them were thrilled to go except Fajita, so we left her home.

Jane Eyre has a soft spot in my heart. About 10 years ago, Drama Queen performed as Miss Scatcherd and in the ensemble out in Riverton. It was the first time I ever saw it on stage and I loved the music right from the beginning.

The Hale is a very small theater-in-the-round created out of a house, but they do a fantastic job! We were so enthralled by the performance that we hardly noticed we were seated in two groups on different sides of the stage.

Thank you, Princess! It was way more fun than a bridal shower and a lot less work.

Apr 22, 2016

Taking Out the Pink

Just getting started.
Last week when we were at SuperCuts for the free haircut class, I mentioned to the trainer, Melissa, that Baby Doll's pink highlights that were supposed to last for a few weeks had been lingering for over a year. She kindly volunteered to bring her in for the color class this week

Oh no! It's even brighter!
So this morning we showed up bright and early (OK, it was 9:15, but it felt early) for the class. Melissa thought it would take about half an hour to lift the color from her hair. Unfortunately, whatever brand of dye it was that Drama Queen used, it was completely resistant, in fact, it became even brighter!

So done with this!

Time for plan B.

We decided the answer was to just cover it with a different color of blond. Nearly 3 hours later it was finally finished and she looks beautiful. Now there are just a few stubborn wisps of pink left and I think we can tuck those into her bun for the dance recital, so that's good.

Apr 21, 2016

Guess What?!

You will never guess what I did today!

It was probably something I should have done long ago, but the time was finally right. I went up to Peterson's Car dealership in Sandy, and picked up my new car!

OK, it's not really new, but it's new to me, so that is good enough. I let my sweetie talk me into buying a Lexus even though I told him it was incredibly pretentious and not my style, but he convinced me that it was a small SUV with 8 seats that rode more like a minivan. A minivan with lots of seats would definitely be my style.

When we arrived at the dealership, the first thing our friend, Monte, told us was that he drove a car just like the one we ultimately bought. I know, sounds like a crock, but we have been working with this guy for about 15 years now and we think he is pretty legit.

So, it's mine, and even though it is already 10 years old, our "Sexy Lexy" (aptly named by Sport) is in great shape and it is parked in my driveway.

It's way more fun to drive than the Big Van!

Apr 20, 2016

First Time Pitcher

As you know, we are mired in the middle of baseball/softball season. There were two games tonight, one for Baby Doll, and one for Curly. All the other kids except Curly have had the opportunity to play several games already. His first game last week was cancelled after the first inning because of rain.

So tonight they played an entire game without any weather mishaps. Curly started the game at 3rd base, moved to 1st for the second inning, then to center field for the third. I thought that is where he would stay for the rest of the game.

I was wrong.

Next thing I knew, he was warming up to pitch the final inning! Now Curly is a pretty good athlete, especially given the fact that he is likely the youngest kid on his team, but honestly, I have seen him throw, but never watched him pitch.

I didn't even know he DID pitch! PW8 is their first opportunity to learn the kid-pitch game. But they don't allow walks. If the boy gets four balls (which happens often!) then the coach pitches the strikes. Curly was nervous, but he threw some pretty good strikes. He struck out two batters and the coach struck out the third batter to end the inning.

They ultimately lost, 6 - 1, but it was sure fun to see him on the pitcher's mound!

Apr 19, 2016


We had so much fun tonight for family home evening! We started late since the kids have dance and we had planned a late supper at 7:30 when we picked up Curly and Scout. Then our plan was to grab Crafty from the studio at 8:00 and head to a park for the last rays of sunshine.

It didn't work quite that way.

We got the little ones OK, but then we didn't get out the door with everyone until almost 8:00 so we went for Crafty first which was a great idea since our trip to Sonic for their half-price cheeseburgers took much longer than expected. (I was pretty disappointed, btw, that they were one of the few to offer any sort of tax day price cut...but I digress...)

Anyway, by the time we got to the park, it was 8:50 and getting pretty dark. There were softball games across the street and they had their huge lights on, so that gave us just enough for the kids to see so they could climb around on the playground equipment. Then they started night games.

We had everyone with us who lives at home except for Princess and she was still at work, so there were 10 of us chasing around the playground as well as my friend's two little dogs the Dog Walker had for the day. We haven't been so silly for ages.

The Dog Walker went totally off the deep end and climbed in the garbage can for a game of hide and seek except that he was just a bit too big...

We played and enjoyed each other for about 40 minutes until we got too cold and then we headed back to the house for donuts.

Such a fun time! And we didn't even plan it that way.

Apr 18, 2016

Happy 23rd Birthday, Twiz!

Twiz shared his first birthday with our family today. Actually they started their partying on Friday by going out to Wendover on the "Fun Bus" with Teach's work friends. They mostly just wanted to get away and that seemed like a good way to do it. We got to watch their puppy, Abigail, until they picked her up in the wee hours of the morning.

Then on Saturday, Teach gave Twiz a fishing pole as a birthday gift and the two of them hit five lakes/rivers without catching a single fish. Teach spent most of her time sitting in the car where it was warm while Twiz braved the cold and tossed line after disappointing line.

They had planned to camp out on Saturday night, but it was too cold. Once again we were up for puppy-sitting and Abigail had lots of fun playing with the kids, especially Drama Queen. Her voice sounds just enough like Teach's voice that the poor little doggie was completely confused!

And finally, we had a party tonight with the family. My sweetie spent hours making his first ice cream cakes and I'm sorry I didn't get you a pic after he put on the cute whipped cream and raspberries on the heart-shaped one. They were starting to melt and I was just focused on getting them served. All were a huge hit and I'm guessing that my cake-making days are over and everyone will be requesting ice cream cakes from now on.

We ended up the evening watching Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I had never seen the Donny Osmond version and the video was great although I would imagine seeing that show live back in the day was absolutely amazing.

And how was your weekend?

Apr 16, 2016

Learning about Buying a Home

Drama Queen planned such a fun activity for our Girl Scouts today! Since it was Tax Day, we decided it would be good to teach the girls about something a bit financial. There is a badge where they can learn about the ins and outs of buying a home. So we decided to let them build a home.

I made chocolate frosting and Drama Queen went to the store and bought graham crackers, then we rounded up all the random candy, chocolate chips, etc. we could find. Princess even made us some fondant shapes. We filled 10 bags with frosting, added tips, and set out a pile of paper plates. Everything was ready but the price sheets and Drama Queen took care of that.

Oh and the money... Dog Walker pulled all the Monopoly money from the board game for us and it wasn't long before the girls began to arrive. They were a bit surprised when Drama Queen gave them each $2000 and explained what we were doing. Just to get started would cost them $900, a plot (plate), panels (crackers), and concrete (frosting).

They got to work, each designing their own house with the things that were important to them. About halfway through I gave them all a $50 tax refund and they were pretty excited to add a couple of Lifesavers or 25 large chocolate chips to their edifices.

As they worked, we talked about a dozen different aspects of home-building and home ownership. I hope they all learned something valuable. I know Scout did; when she realized they got to keep what they bought, she scrounged up her last $400 and bought another bag of frosting. She was the most popular girl around.

Apr 15, 2016

Quiet Thursday

It was a rainy, relatively quiet Thursday. I got a bunch of paperwork done in the morning and then ran some errands including a new haircut. Not much different, I guess, but I can feel it. Drama Queen and Baby Doll also got theirs cut.

My sweetie came home early and arranged a pizza party with all the kids to celebrate the Dog Walker's new job at Wal-Mart. It will go well with his schooling because he will only work in the evenings helping unload the trucks and then I think he can go full time in the summer if he wants to. It will be nice for him to take a break from school.

After pizza, the Dog Walker and I took 8 kids under the age of 12 to the library for their Craft Night. They made cards and bracelets that were spring-themed. Prima Donna and Crafty joined us toward the end. I love that our library does so many fun family-oriented free activities.

Drama Queen took over the planning of my girl scout meeting tomorrow so I could get some rest. The Dog Walker has about 2 weeks of classes left and we have been keeping some pretty late hours trying to get all the homework done.

We also picked up Prima Donna's graduation stuff for high school so we can start stuffing her envelopes and getting the good news out to the family. We are definitely coming up on a busy weekend.

Apr 14, 2016

Being Spoiled

I have a perfectly good reason for not posting last night.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we had the Mary Kay lady come by and teach my girl scouts about skin care? She was so awesome and she didn't charge us anything, but I felt a little guilty about taking her time without buying anything, so my sweetie suggested we get a new set of Satin Hands.

Have you ever heard of this product? It's a little pricey, but it comes with 3 different bottles of stuff and instructions to make your hands super soft. I have never used it for my hands. It is my favorite product for my feet mostly because at my house, the purchase also comes with an hour-long pampering from my sweetie (and of course it has more than one use...).

So about 9:00 last night I wandered upstairs where he was watching TV and he was happy to switch off his movie and open our newly acquired set. It was fun to talk and laugh and spend some time together. Sometimes it seems we don't get nearly enough of that at my house unless we have a bunch of kids along for the ride.

Apr 13, 2016

Crafty's Eye

My poor Crafty. Sunday night her eye was bothering her a bit, but nothing serious enough to tell me. Then on Monday about 10:30 AM I got this text from her, "Can you please check me out?" Now Crafty is not one to miss school. She worries so much about her grades and making up assignments that she has to be really sick before she comes home.

I immediately drove to the middle school and had her called to the Attendance Office. Her eye was red and swollen and she started crying when she saw me. I gave her a hug and took her home.

After some allergy meds, a long shower, and a short nap, she was ready for bigger intervention. Nothing was working so I called our eye doctor and they had us come right over. As he began probing her eye, she said she felt like something moved and then he identified an abrasion on her cornea.

Apparently she had some foreign body in her eye and at least it was finally out. He gave her these cute glasses and a prescription. We drove across the street to the grocery store and she waited in the car while I quickly had it filled.

We put the drops in as soon as we got home and she began to feel immediate relief. It was still terribly red and swollen and giving her headaches so Drama Queen ran back to the store and bought her a box of eye patch bandages. They made things much easier for her but she still couldn't concentrate on homework so I kept her home from school today.

Tonight she is finally feeling much better and planning to return to school in the morning. Her eye is still a little red and we are thinking now it was probably a tiny bit of the eyelash glue from her Saturday competition that had worked its way into her eye.